Pivoting the Player: A framework for player character research in offline computer role-playing games

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This article introduces a theoretical framework for the analysis of the player character (PC) in offline computer role-playing games (cRPGs). It derives from the assumption that the character constitutes the focal point of the game, around which all the other elements revolve. This underlying observation became the foundation of the Player Character Grid and its constituent Pivot Player Character (PPC) Model, a conceptual framework illustrating the experience of gameplay as perceived through the PC’s eyes. Although video game characters have been scrutinized from many different perspectives, a systematic framework has not yet been introduced. This study aims to fill that void by proposing a model replicable across the cRPG genre. It has been largely inspired by Anne Ubersfeld’s semiological dramatic character research implemented in Reading Theatre I (1999) and is demonstrated with reference to The Witcher (2007).

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)215-234
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Research areas

  • Digital media - Structural methodology, Actant, Actor, Dramatic character, Offline cRPGs, Player character